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Breaking Out of L2-Exclusive Pedagogies: Teachers Valorizing Immigrant Pupils’ Multilingual Repertoire in Urban Dutch-Medium Classrooms

  • Sven Sierens
  • Griet Ramaut
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the outcomes of an evaluation study into a local multilingual education initiative promoting a type of pedagogical translanguaging. It was conducted in urban elementary classrooms in a subnational context (Flanders, Belgium) where a monolingual language ideology prevails. The qualitative data from this study on teacher practice indicated tentative steps towards translanguaging, rather than a profound transformation of a monolingual into a multilingual learning environment. We observed the practices of both preschool and primary school teachers. While preschool teachers showed greater openness to inclusion of children’s first languages (L1’s) for their socioemotional benefits, primary school teachers showed more interest in L1’s as a cognitive resource and showed a greater tendency to restrict the emerging ‘multilingual spaces’ in classroom. An important lesson of the study is that pedagogical translanguaging faces both the persistent influence of the monolingual context, which is taken for granted, and a pedagogical ideology which highlights constant teacher control as a prerequisite for effective classroom and learning management.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven Sierens
    • 1
  • Griet Ramaut
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Diversity & Learning, Linguistics DepartmentGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.University of Leuven (until 2013)LeuvenBelgium

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